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HOPE For Paws dog kennel up and running

After many hours of planning and a full day of exhausting work, the HOPE For Paws dog kennel at Steps to HOPE is ready for use.

Heidi Mendez, DeHaven Batchelor and Deborah Batchelor lended their hardwork and donations to making the HOPE for Paws kennel at Steps to HOPE a reality. (photo submitted by Debra Backus)

Heidi Mendez, DeHaven Batchelor and Deborah Batchelor lended their hardwork and donations to making the HOPE for Paws kennel at Steps to HOPE a reality. (photo submitted by Debra Backus)

This kennel will enable pet-owning victims of domestic violence to flee their abusive relationships without fear of harm being inflicted on their family pets when left behind. Sadly, pets are often targeted by abusers in an attempt at control or retaliation.

Dr. DeHaven Batchelor, an veterinarian with an equine specialty who operates the Central Florida Equine Hospital in Sanford, Fla., and his wife Deborah, a breeder of best in show winning Smooth Collies for 30 years, designed the kennel and donated the pen, walls and gates – as well as a full day’s labor erecting the kennel. The Batchelors live in Tryon and Florida where they enjoy gardening and remodeling.

Friends of the Batchelors, Dave and Phyllis Schwerdtfeger of Columbus, delivered the fencing and helped with the foundation. Rounding out the team of volunteers were Larry Wassong and Heidi Mendez, both members of Steps to HOPE’s board of directors. Mendez also donated all the lumber, hardware and stonework needed for the kennel. Henson’s Inc. of Landrum generously delivered foundation materials free of charge. Foothills Humane Society donated dog beds, kennels, dishes, food, collars and other pet necessities.

Steps to HOPE feels confident that the addition of this pet kennel will open the doorway to safety for victims who are hesitant to leave their pets behind in order to seek shelter from abuse.

– article submitted
by Debra Backus